Author(s): Julie Peakman
'Of picking, washing and cleaning my pretty little toes, which he took great delight in, and in which pleasurable, innocent, and inoffensive pastime he as often spent hours; 'twas the greatest gratification to him on earth, nor did he (said she) indulge in any other in all the time we spent together, he never was even rude enough to give me a kiss.' So emerged the first expose of foot fetishism in the eighteenth century. Revelations and racy anecdotes about the lives of the rich and famous of Dublin and London abound within Peg Plunkett: Memoirs of a Whore. From a violent domestic background, Peg blitzed her way through balls and masquerades creating scandals and gossip wherever she went, leaving dukes, barristers and lieutenants stranded in her wake. She was the first madame ever to write her memoirs, thereby setting the template for the whore's memoir. She wrote not merely to reveal herself but to expose the shoddy behaviour of others and her account of her life. In Peg Plunkett: Memoirs of a Whore, Julie Peakman brings her subject and the world through which she moved to glorious, bawdy life.
Julie Peakman is a leading light in the history of sexuality and an Honorary Fellow at both the Wellcome Institute and at Birkbeck College, University of London, as well as being a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society. She is a frequent contributor to journals and magazines and television documentaries for BBC, Channel 4 and the Biography Channel. Her first book Mighty Lewd Books: The Development of Pornography in Eighteenth-Century England (Palgrave 2003) was much acclaimed. Her second book Lascivious Bodies: A Sexual History of the Eighteenth Century (Atlantic Books, 2004) was a more light-hearted romp through the eighteenth-century sexual underworld.